It is a beautiful, dry Sunday afternoon. Continue to pray for the rain we so desperately need. All of God’s creatures need rain.
I missed some birthdays and an anniversary last week. So, a belated happy birthday to Jordan Hoerster on his 2nd birthday on February 22nd. The Sam and Maribelle Hoerster must have had a great party on Sunday. And Ella Mae Hall also had a great birthday party on the 22nd. And, Paul and Sara Dixon celebrated their second anniversary on February 24th; a day for the Krause family to celebrate. There are two birthdays today, February 25th: both Vondell Jordan and Jennifer Hitzfelder will have their party on Wednesday. And, most important, my dear Aunt Florence Blake will celebrate her birthday on February 26th. She came to church in Art, all the way from her new home in Fredericksburg. And we had a real celebration dinner, thanks to Barbara Krause, Joyce Mutschink, Kathy Jordan and Susie Jordan. Thanks for everything.
There will be an Ash Wednesday service today, Feb. 25th, at 6:00 p.m. in Art. The first Lenten Lunch will be at noon today in the River of Life Church. The Lenten Lunch on March 4th will be at St. Paul Lutheran Church. Start Lent with God working in your heart.
Prayers for healing were requested for Wayne Jordan, Pearl Leifeste, Chuck Smith (a friend of Carolyn Vater who is recovering from an auto accident), and Mary Ruth and her family (Susan Ceynowa’s Aunt). Pray for Josh Calhoun that his new orders will assign him to a location where God wants him and his family to live and work for God.
Reverend Krause’s proclamation on Transfiguration Sunday comes from his heart and the scripture from Acts 9:1-19. This is the well known, great transfiguration story of Saul of Tarsus onto Paul, a true Christian.
Saul was a powerful, well educated man in Jerusalem. He defended his beliefs with all of his strength. He did not know the true God. He worked against God with the authority of the High Priest. He was a self-centered man.
On his way to Damascus, a great light from heaven blinded him and the Lord spoke to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me”? Why are you persecuting my people? And Saul asked who it was asking the question. And God said. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting”. Saul then asked Jesus what he was to do. Jesus only told him to get up and go into the city and he would be told what to do.
Saul got up but he could not see even though his eyes were open. His companions had heard voices but were terrified and could not speak. But they led him by the hand and took him into the city. Saul could not see and neither ate nor drank for three days.
The Lord then appeared in a vision to Ananias, a disciple, saying’ “Ananias”. He answered: “Here am I Lord”. And the Lord told him to go to a street called Straight and ask at the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul who was praying there. He had seen in a vision a man named Ananias enter and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.
But Ananias answered the Lord, saying that many people have been talking about this man, how he caused great suffering among Christians in Jerusalem and now he is in Damascus with authority from the high priest to put in chains all who call on Jesus’ name. But the Lord told him to go because the man was a “chosen instrument of Mine to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the descendents of Israel; for I will make clear to him how much he will be afflicted and must endure and suffer for My name’s sake”.
Ananias went to the house. He laid hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, Whom appeared to you along the way by which you came here, has sent me that you may recover your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit”.
Instantly, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes and he could see. He arose and was baptized. He ate some food and was strengthened. He remained with the disciples in Damascus for a few days.
Ananias was just an ordinary man, a believer in Jesus Christ. But his faith was great. He had great faith, he was obedient to the call of Jesus and he acted on that call. Faith is the choice to believe in something we cannot see. Obedience is the transformation of our relationship with God.We are obedient when we answer the call of the Lord. Ananias was obedient to the Father when he laid his hands on Saul. Saul was transformed because of Ananias’ action. Saul’s heart was transformed and his eyes were healed by God. Saul was transformed from a self-centered person to a Christ-centered disciple. His friends were amazed to see the change.
We can do anything if we only ask for God’s help. He can and does help us when we pray. God can transform anyone by his power.